Josh Kelly planning for Conor Benn after David Avanesyan European title clash
Josh Kelly has vowed to tick off David Avanesyan on Saturday — before doing the same to Conor Benn.
Kelly, 26, finally steps into the ring with the 32-year-old Russian this weekend, nearly 27 months after having to withdraw through illness on the morning of their originally planned clash.
They were due to meet again last March but the coronavirus pandemic prevented it.
Now they will go head-to-head at Wembley Arena for the European welterweight crown and, providing he wins, Kelly then plans to face Benn, who called him out on TV after beating Sebastian Formella in November.
Kelly said: “Conor Benn will get dealt with after I’ve dealt with this European title fight — he’ll soon see what I’ve got to say on telly.
“That’s the next fight after this fight.
“I’ve got this year mapped out — Avaneyshyan is getting ticked then Conor Benn is getting ticked and, at the end of the year, we’ll see who else is there to get ticked.
“I can’t wait for Saturday. This is the one that opens everything up.
“This will be the start of the big year, which I know is already written.
“I am going to stop David.
“It’s mad because no one gave David a look in [for the first fight] and now he’s this monster.
“But within two years I’ve matured massive amounts — mentally, physically, emotionally, everything I need.
“I’ve ticked every box.”
Bad blood between the camps more so than the fighters has grown since the original date, with Avanesyan’s camp questioning the legitimacy of the illness that forced Kelly to pull out.
But Kelly added: “I’m no liar, I’m a two-foot, straight shooter
“I had to take the knock I got, take the stick, and now I have to come back and beat him in spectacular fashion.
“He’s going to be gobsmacked. He’s going to be in for a hard night’s work.
“The shots will be going straight through him.
“I’ve trained for the biggest fight of pressure in my life.
“I invite the pressure — bring it all you want.
“I’m just collecting that European title, it’s mine.”
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